Some Australian plants have in the past been thought of as weeds, maybe because they weren’t pretty – or maybe we were making space for an introduced species.
Some of these introduced plants have done major damage to our environment, the most commonly known are Patterson’s curse, the stinging nettle, and the blackberry.
The population in the past knew that gum trees and wattles were true plants of Australia.
However, during the 1900s the country lost many native plants like the sweet and smooth darling peas – because farmers and developers needed the land for cows, sheep, cities, and towns. To this day, we are finding some lesser known or rare species of Australian plants in the most unusual places – good news for the future of our native flora and fauna.
When we removed the native plants we also destroyed the homes and safe places for native fauna to hide and to live. This made them vulnerable to domesticated animals and their natural predators. This is one reason why we should be passionate in reversing the damage that was created. I want the future generations to embrace this reversal so that for years to come the unique beauty of Australian flora is preserved.
One of the most rewarding of the Australian plants is the kangaroo paw. This plant has many cultivars and comes in a range of colours and heights. Kangaroo paws attract the birds and this plant’s clumping habit is a haven for small animals – so an attractive garden plant and valuable for native fauna.
We can mix Australian species with exotic plants, together they can provide shelter and nourishment for our animals. Encouraging fauna into the garden also keeps your plants healthy, birds eat caterpillars and other bugs and this has got to be a good thing.
Try planting patches of wallaby grass and kangaroo grass, I have personally seen blue tongue lizards living happily in these grasses.
It’s a beautiful sight to see native animals thriving in our yards and not just in the bush.
Unfortunately, native grasses are sometimes mistaken as weeds, but before you pull them out just remember they may be a home to lizards and birds.